SA Attorney General Wants R18+ Video Game Classification To Be 'More Rigorously Applied'

The Australian Classification Board has classified multiple video games as R18+ since the introduction of the rating in January this year. But despite this South Australian Attorney General John Rau is claiming the guidelines aren't being applied rigorously enough, and plans to write to the Federal Government in an attempt to apply more scrutiny to the Australian Classification Board.

At a press conference today, he voiced his concerns.

"It is concerning to me, particularly as a parent," John Rau said, "when I see that 13 games have been released in Australia as MA15+ whilst exactly the same game attracts up to an R18+ classification overseas.

"These particular games have been assessed as having intense violence, blood and gore, nudity and suggestive themes."

Multiple video games have been rated R18+ since January, including games like The Last Of Us, State of Decay, Grand Theft Auto V, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. R18+ games are now commonplace to the extent that it no longer makes news when a game is given that rating. In addition, the Classification Board initially refused classification to Saints Row IV, a game that received adult's only classifications in every other western country. State of Decay was also refused classification, despite being released without a hitch in other markets.

John Rau is claiming that up to 13 video games have been rated MA15+ here in Australia but given higher ratings overseas. He did not name these games specifically, but said he is considering referring these games for review.

"If the standards are not more rigorously applied I will be referring each of these games to the South Australian Classification Council for review," he said.

According to Rau, the Australian Council on Children and the Media had come to him with concerns over the application of the R18+ rating.

SA Government doubts tougher video games classification rules are working [ABC]


    I'm sad every time I sell an R18+ game to a parent or grandparent who is buying it for children.
    I had one yesterday who was probably 8, if that.
    I do make a point to tell them it's rated R because of the adult content, and they either get embarrassed or get grumpy :/
    I was looking forward to the R rating, but now I think it's a bit of a farce because the people who are buying the games for kids are totally ignoring it

      It's because the Australian classification system for video games is a joke. Nobody takes it seriously. It's trash.

      According to the classification board... recreational drugs do not give euphoria or any positive effects... or at least they don't want people to see it.

      What's important is that parents should instill the right moral compass in their children.

    I was planning one day to build this myself, but how about a database? Now just any database mind you, but one that links package bar-codes with a complete, dot-point overview of the game and its content.

    Then, with this database, you'd go and build yourself a website (mobile optimized) and maybe even some native applications for smartphones. Allow for bar-code scanning and all that jazz. Maybe you'll nab the attention of a few parents using these kinds of things. Possibly, if you're lucky, might even convince a few parents to start doing this pre-purchase and have them change their minds.

    The down side is the headaches for all the EB staff who will have to put up with a new wave of crying children. Sorry guys.

      You don't need an app or database to educate parents. Because that is all we are talking about. If they are buying little 12 year old johnny an R rated game then another way for them to realise it isn't suitable will not make any difference.

    I don't know what his problem is, the guidelines are being applied fine. The only one I would argue against would be Saints Row IV, that....and maybe certain guidelines need amending, but for the most part it has worked out pretty well so far.

    I still think this whole thing was a waste of time. I'm not 18, so I just switched to buying my games from JB-HI-FI online rather than in store.

    New classification = successfully bypassed.

    I find it amusing that from the headline alone, I thought Rau wanted to improve enforcement of R rated games, you know, ensuring that stores don't sell R rated games to 10 year olds.

    If Rau really feels that strongly about making sure that minors don't access inappropriate games, he should also be pushing for laws against secondary supply as well.

    I don't think games where you kill non-humans should be R18+ (eg: The last of us)
    But I can understand why games where you kill other people would be
    Oh well not like it will affect me since I turn 18 in a month :P

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